20 Aug 2014
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Letter to the Editor: HB1 and HB462

"The intention of the Virginia legislature is not merely to return us to the pre-Roe v Wade era, they want to take us back to the 10th century."

Letter to the Editor: HB1 and HB462

HB1, approved by the Virginia House, mandates that fertilized human eggs are persons with all rights under the Virginia constitution.  When presented with an amendment by Delegate Vivian Watts declaring that nothing in HB1 would be construed to affect legal contraception, the members of the Virginia house voted not to consider her amendment by a vote of 64-34. 

To me, this vote by House legislators is a clear indication that the Republicans in Virginia intend to ban birth control, IUDs and emergency contraception.   Do not be persuaded by statements to the contrary by those Republicans currently running for office.  Once a fertilized egg is a person, anything that inhibits it from implanting will be illegal in Virginia and that includes hormonal birth control pills, IUDs and emergency contraception.  

A second anti-choice bill, passed by both Virginia houses, has not yet been signed by Governor McDonnell.  HB 462 mandates an ultrasound for all women who seek an abortion.  It was passed 63-36.  Under most circumstances a transvaginal sonogram will be required to fulfill the language of HB 462 and women who choose not to be pregnant must have their bodies penetrated by a vaginal probe.

Women impregnated by rape will also be required to undergo an ultrasound.   Even young girls raped and impregnated by their fathers, brothers, and uncles will be granted no exemption from this intrusive procedure.   

The intention of the Virginia legislature is not merely to return us to the pre-Roe v Wade era, they want to take us back to the 10th century.  The sponsor of HB1, Bob Marshall, speaks of women as "sin-bearers."   Bob Marshall wants Virginia to go back to an era where women were not only without rights, but were viewed as subhuman vessels tainted by the sin of Eve.  

On a sunny morning in February in the 21st century, it is good to remember that because of the hard work of legions of our foremothers, and especially those women who were brutally tortured at Lorton Prison for doing nothing more than advocating for a woman's right to vote, we "sin-bearers" are enfranchised.  Bob Marshall, the Republican members of the Virginia legislature, and Governor McDonnell cannot take away our right to vote them out of office.  

To sign a petition against HB1 and HB 462:   http://www.signon.org/sign/stop-the-war-on-women-1?source=homepage

Kathy Kaplan

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